Schools Must Implement Gujarat Govt’s Policy on Gujarati Language: HC

Gujarat High Court has said that schools affiliated to other boards like CBSE And the ICSE cannot refuse to implement the State Government’s policy of teaching Gujarati language as one of the compulsory subjects in classes I to VIII.

Hearing a PIL on Friday on the implementation of the policy introduced by the Gujarat government in April 2018, Justice Sonia Gokani said the HC would issue necessary directions if the government felt “helpless” to force schools.

The PIL was filed in October this year by NGO ‘Matribhasha Abhiyan’, seeking a High Court direction to ensure the state government “implements the 2018 government resolution in letter and spirit”. So that Gujarati language may be introduced as one of the compulsory subjects. Classes 1 to 8 in primary schools”.

The petitioner had stated that primary schools, especially those affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and IB boards, were not introducing Gujarati as a subject in the curriculum despite having a policy in place.

During a brief hearing on Friday, advocate Archit Jani, appearing for the NGO, informed a bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and Mouna Bhatt that as per an RTI application, the websites of 15 schools informed that Gujarati is not a part of their curriculum. Is.

“They (schools) are not teaching Gujarati at all. And, there are no consequences (for not following government policy). Their (government’s) affidavit has not clearly stated what action the government will take against such schools.

In response, the state government said it was collecting data from all districts to identify non-compliant schools.

When a government petitioner tried to point out that the issue has arisen mainly because of schools affiliated to other boards like CBSE having “their own syllabus”, Justice Gokani said that such schools or boards cannot enforce the policy on Gujarati. Can’t refuse to do.

“Don’t feel helpless. Because you are the state and this is your policy. And, this is to protect something which we all know needs to be protected and all states are doing so by making statutory provisions for it Justice Gokani said.

“You (government) need to make it clear to them (schools) that they have to implement this policy. Otherwise, what will be the consequences, it is up to you to decide. The board may have its own syllabus but they cannot say no to this policy. If he needs to work in Gujarat, he will have to do so.”

On the need for consequences for those who do not follow the policy, Justice Gokani said, “It is a policy and you have asked them to follow it. What will happen to them if they don’t follow it? We always say that There is no love without fear. There is no one to enforce it without resistance.”

Justice Gokani said, “If someone is openly flouting your policy, he should be ordered”.

The HC bench posted the matter for further hearing on December 22 as the state government sought time to collect data about compliance from all districts.

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